101 things to machine embroider

By on March 7th, 2022
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Got an embroidery machine but don’t know what to make. There are so many things to machine embroider! In this blog post, I will provide you with a list of 101 things you can embroider with your embroidery machine. From the basics like towels and aprons, to more advanced techniques like baby onesies and gloves, I’ve got you covered. So what are you waiting for? Let’s start stitching!

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Things to machine embroider (easy)

The things to machine embroider are ones that are flat, don’t stretch and are made of a durable fabric. The only challenge is in centering your embroidery. But once you master the folding method, perfect placement is a breeze.

monogrammed tea towel
Photo provided by Ellie Yuska of Gracefully Stitched and used with her permission.

Tea towels (or kitchen towels)

Machine embroidering tea towels is a great way to start out. They are cheap! And there are a lot of cute kitchen-themed designs available that will elevate your decor. Most importantly, however, tea towels are flat, so they are super easy to hoop or float on your embroidery machine.

Aprons

Another easy thing to machine embroider is an apron. Once again, they are nice and flat, and generally made of a durable fabric that won’t tend to stretch and pucker. Plus, there are a ton of fun and funky designs available that will show off your personality while you cook.

Wash cloths

Wash cloths are another great thing to machine embroider, ideal for beginners. They are small, so they don’t take a lot of time to embroider. And they are cheap, so you won’t feel bad if you mess one up. You can stitch out names on wash cloths for use in a kids’ shared bathroom.

monogrammed towels
Photo provided by Ellie Yuska of Gracefully Stitched and used with her permission.

Bath towels

Bath towels are another flat item that are easy to embroider. The only challenge is in tamping down the nap of the towel with water soluble stabilizer and/or a knockdown stitch before you start embroidering. You can embroider kids’ names on bath towels for a shared bathroom. For a more grown up look, you can embroider your towels with a traditional monogram or an elegant single initial design. It’s a great way to add a personalized touch to your bathroom.

Beach towels

Tired of slowly losing your beach towels throughout the summer season? One way to ensure that beach towels get back to you is by stitching out your last name on each one.

Embroidered beach towels make great gifts for weddings, new homes, or graduations. They can be personalized with monograms, names, or even short phrases.

Picnic blanket

An outdoor blanket suitable for picnics or camping can be a fun thing to machine embroider. You can choose a festive design that will brighten up your picnic experience. Or, if you are more of the outdoorsy type, you could go with a camo or nature-themed design. A personalized outdoor blanket is a great gift for a boater, hunter, or any outdoor enthusiast.

You can buy really some nice outdoor blankets that incorporate straps so that it can roll up on itself and stay put.

Placemats

One of my favorite gifts that I’ve made are some embroidered placemats I made for my mother-in-law a few years back. I bought the deep red placemats from Walmart for a steal and stitched out an elegant single monogram in cream on each one.

If you are feeling particularly ambitious, you can make your own placemats. One benefit of making them yourself is that you can hide the back of the monogram between the two layers of the placemat.

Napkins

Photo provided by Sarah Watters and used with her permission.

Still feeling ambitious? Why not try embroidering some napkins? You can stitch out a pretty initial design to complement the placemats you just embroidered.

That’s exactly what I did! To complement those red placemats for my mother-in-law, I monogramed some cream napkins with red thread. This combination makes for a festive table around the holiday season.

Tablecloths

If you want to really go all out, try embroidering a tablecloth. This is a great project for embroidery machines with larger hoops. You can stitch out a repeated design around the borders. Or, you can embroider a unique design on all four corners.

Table runners

A table runner is the perfect way to dress up your dining room table for a special occasion. And if you make it yourself, you can be sure that no one else will have one like it!

You can embroider a large design right in the center of the table runner, or keep it plan with reflecting designs on either end.

Koozies

Koozies may seem like a challenging item to embroider because they are so small. How the heck to you get them on your embroidery hoop? But, guess what? The sell koozies unstitched! That’s right – you embroider on them when they are nice and flat. Easy. The neoprene material is also a dream for embroidery. It doesn’t stretch much and it has no nap.

Once you are done embroidering on the unstitched koozie, you just fold it in half with right sides together and stitch up the sides. Check out how I embroidered on a koozie.

Tote bags

Tote bags are one of the most versatile thing to machine embroider. You can use them as a shopping bag, an overnight bag, or even a diaper bag. I, personally like those super thin tote bags that fold up really small for carrying groceries. A monogrammed set makes a great gift for any momma on the go.

Tote bags have a nice wide opening, making it really easy to hoop or float them on a single-needle embroidery machine.

Learn how to embroider on a tote bag.

Throw pillow covers

Throw pillow covers are a great way to change up the look of a room without spending a lot of money. Plus, they make great gifts and are easy to personalize.

Amazon carries a ton of different pillow covers that will zip right over your existing throw pillows. Because the zip open, they are easy to hoop or float on your embroidery machine.

Note cards

Sound like kind of a crazy idea? I thought so too at first. But then I actually tried embroidering on a note card and it was way easier than I thought!

You simply float the note card on a piece of sticky back stabilizer and start stitching! The one thing to keep in mind is to choose an embroidery design that is not too dense. If you stitch out a very dense design on yardstick it will destroy the integrity of the paper.

Toilet paper

I still don’t understand why people get so excited about this one, but to each their own. One benefit of embroidering on toilet paper is that pretty low risk. If it doesn’t turn out how you like it, you can simply tear off the square and start on the next one.

People give embroidered toilet paper as a gag gift or embroider a seasonal message on the toilet paper and display it in the bathroom.

Baby blankets

Embroidering a baby blanket is a great way to commemorate the arrival of a new little one. You can choose an appropriate design, or even stitch out the baby’s name and date of birth.

Baby blankets are also a great gift for any expectant mothers in your life. They will love wrapping their newborn in something that you made just for them.

Baby blankets are made in a variety of materials. A lot of people love making them out of minky fabric. But that is a bit stretchy. So, if you are a newbie – I would stick with fleece as it’s a bit easier to work with.

Burp cloths

Burp cloths are a must-have for any new momma. They catch all of the, um, things that babies like to spit up.

New moms tend to keep burp cloths on the shoulders at all times. So, why not make them look a bit more attractive with an embroidered design or the baby’s name?

Burp cloths are one of the easiest, low risk things to machine embroider.

Bibs

Bibs are also a must-have for any new momma and they make great gifts for baby showers. You can actually purchase bibs in a pack, so it’s cheap and easy to personalize a whole set of them.

There are a ton of pretty hilarious designs available that you can stitch out on a big. My favorite? “The cape’s on backwards.”

Tags

Your embroidery machine can be a fantastic labeling tool. You can use it to label just about anything – backpacks, bins, lunch boxes, you name it.

I have made tags from duck cloth with some interfacing fused to the back to make a nice sturdy tag for toy bins and other storage containers around the house.

monogrammed backpack
Photo provided by Ellie Yuska of Gracefully Stitched and used with her permission.

Backpack

How do you help you child identify their backpack among a sea of similar looking ones? You monogram it! Embroidering on back pack is pretty easy since it opens up fairly wide. The material is also very durable so it holds up well to embroidery.

Side note – I’ve heard it’s a good idea to embroider a monogram as opposed to a name on a back pack. Child predators can call kids by their name if it’s on the back of their back pack and convince them that they are not a stranger. I don’t know how likely of a scenario this is – but always good to be cautious.

Bath mats

Embroidering a bath mat is a great way to add some personality to your bathroom and it makes for a really easy project. I would suggest coordinating the design with the embroidery style of the towels.

Shower curtain

Like the bath mat, coordinating the design of your shower curtain with the style of your towels is a great way to add some personality to your bathroom. Since a shower curtain is quite large, a large design would look appropriately scaled. But, if you are limited to a smaller embroidery hoop, you can always stitch out a repeated design.

To be clear – I am suggesting embroidering on the outer shower curtain – not the inner plastic liner.

finished embroidered throw

Throw

Who doesn’t love cuddling up on the couch with a cozy throw? A monogrammed throw makes a great gift and is fairly easy to embroider. A super textured throw can be a bit of a challenge for embroidery. Just be sure to use a thick typeface and water soluble stabilizer to suppress the fabric fibers. You may even consider using a knock down stitch area to make the embroidery really stand out.

Learn how to embroider on a throw.

Coasters

Talk about easy…. coasters are one the simplest things to machine embroider. You can buy coasters pre-made or create them entirely in-the-hoop with just a small piece of fabric.

My personal preference is to make coasters from cork fabric. They are absorbent and have a nice weight to them. I like to integrate a felt backing on mine.

Garden flags

Garden flags are a great way to show your personality and they make for a really easy project. You can purchase inexpensive burlap flags and add a design. Or, you can make them from scratch with some durable outdoor fabric.

Masks

Let’s hope that the demand for cloth masks starts to wane. But while we are still masking up, why not make a personalized cloth mask?

I’ve seen tons of funny designs embroidered on masks like lips and embroidered messages that say “COVID SUCKS.”

You can purchase cheap cloth masks in packs – ready to be embroidered. Or, you can easily make them yourself. In fact, you can whip up a mask entirely in your embroidery hoop! Many companies that sell embroidery designs were offering free in-the-hoop mask patterns when COVID first hit. Check out how I made a cloth mask in-the-hoop.

Towel wrap

Here’s another easy thing to machine embroider- a towel wrap. Never heard of it? A towel wrap is a towel that wraps around your body like a robe. It’s held in place by the elastic at the top and the Velcro closure. Towel wraps are perfect for after the shower or at the beach. Typically, people embroider names or designs along the front overlapping portion of the wrap.

Pillow shams

Don’t confuse a pillow sham and a pillow case as a pillow sham plays a decidedly different role on your bed. Pillow shams dress up a bed and gif you a special spot for that extra pillow you may crave when you are sitting in bed.

And, actually a sham is a bit easier to embroider than a pillow case because the material tends to be a bit more durable than a pillow case. You can also easily make pillow shames yourself.

Stitch out a traditional monogram or a decorative single initial on some shams and your bedroom just got a major style upgrade.

Packing cubes

Packing cubes make traveling so much easier and are a great thing to machine embroider. I actually monogrammed a set of packing cubes for a friend of mine who is notoriously disorganized, and she absolutely loved them.

A set of packing cubes are super cheap and they are also really easy to embroidery. The unzip all the way so you can easily hoop or float the front piece.

completed monogrammed infinity scarf

Scarves

Scarves are the perfect way to add a pop of color or some personality to an outfit. They are also one of the easiest things to embroider as they are flat and typically not too stretchy.

You can purchase a scarf or you can easily make your own. I like to use a lightweight cotton fabric (but not too light so that it can still handle the embroidery) and stitch out a simple design or a monogram near the bottom edge.

I’ve also made infinity scarves from scratch out of a pretty plaid flannel and integrated a monogram on the scarf.

Woven headbands

I actually stole this idea from my kids’ sewing class. What I mean by a woven headband is one that is made from a broadcloth and not stretchy fabric. They get their stretch from a short piece of elastic that connects each end. And the elastic gets hidden underneath the wearer’s hair in back.

The beauty of this project is that it’s really easy and quick and it’s a good way to use up scraps of fabric. You can make them to match any outfit. Check out how I made a woven headband to match a personalized sweatshirt.

Fleece coats and vests

Fleece is a dream material for machine embroidery. It doesn’t stretch much and it holds up very well to the stitching. These days you can find half zip fleeces for less than $10. Just check out the clearance rack at places like Osh Kosh and Old Navy in January and you can stock up with fleeces for every birthday party your kids will attend throughout the year.

Embroidered fleeces are not just for kids though. You make them for men and women as well. I monogrammed a fleece vest for my mother-in-law a couple of years ago and I believe she still hasn’t taken it off. (Or maybe she just wears it when she is around me….whatever)

Things to machine embroider (intermediate)

Once you have mastered the basics, it’s time to move on to some more intermediate projects. These projects require a bit more skill, knowledge, and perhaps a bit of patience. But, they are still totally doable if you take a few precautions..

Pillowcases

One of my favorite inexpensive and much appreciated engagement and wedding gifts is a set of pillowcases embroidered with Mrs and Mr.

Yes, I know that pillow cases are flat and the material doesn’t stretch a lot which makes them pretty easy thing to machine embroider. But, I’ve put them in the intermediate category because of the double layer of fabric on the pillowcase cuff that you will likely want to embroidery through. The two layers can slide around on top of each other which can lead to puckering around your embroidery. Check out how to embroider on a pillowcase.

Skirts

Skirts are a great way to show off your machine embroidery skills. Embroidery adds some color and character to an otherwise plain garment. I like to hit up the clearance rack at Old Navy at the end of the season and stock up on some cheap, plain skirts. Then, I make them my own by embroidering abstract designs and flowers down the front or around the hem.

Dresses

I personalized a lot of dresses for my girls when they were little. But, embroidery on dresses does not need to be relegated to the kid corner. Machine embroidery on dresses can actually look hip, modern and totally grown up.

I had a blast adding silver reverse appliqué flowers on a dress that I bought for next-to-nothing at Old Navy. It went from clearance rack reject to a total one-of-a-kind look.

Lunch tote

Another great thing to machine embroider is a lunch tote. Not only does it help your child identify their lunchbox, but it also helps keep them from losing it at school.

Lunch boxes are a bit more challenging to embroider as it’s a tighter space to access – but definitely not the most challenging item I’ve embroidered on a single-needle machine.

Dog collar

If you have a pet, then you know that their things tend to get lost or misplaced. Even pets can easily get misplaced. That’s why it’s a great idea to embroider your dog or cat’s name on their collar.

A few words of caution…. Since collars are skinny, placement can be a bit of a challenge. Also the collar material might be a big dense so you may struggle stitching through material.

Swim coverup

Swim coverups are another fun item to personalize for a kid or even an adult. They can be slightly challenging to embroidery because they are typically made from a light and airy material which can be prone to tearing.

Whenever you are embroidering on very light materials, you should avoid choosing a very dense design or heavy letterings. Light designs work best for embroidering on light materials.

Suitcase handle covers

Do you have a suitcase that’s hard to pick out? Why not add some custom embroidery to the handles of your luggage – it makes them easier to identify and prevents them from getting lost.

Suitcase handle covers come in an array of bright colors and patterns. They are cheap and quick and easy to embroider, and they will help you instantly identify your suitcase as it’s coming off the carousel.

embroidered bible cover
Photo provided by Shelly Dason of The Gray Wren Sewing and Crafts and used with her permission.

Bible covers

Bible covers are a great way to protect your bible and help you identify which one is yours. While you can make your own Bible cover – you also buy them online. There are some pretty substantial Bible covers available with handles to make them easy to carry to Bible study or church, and they are perfect for embroidering. You can stitch out an inspirational message or a name or a monogram to help you identify which Bible is yours.

Christmas stockings

Christmas stockings are MADE for embroidering, as embroidering a Christmas stocking with a name is practically a necessity. How else will Santa know how to deliver the goods?

Embroidering on Christmas stocking can be a little tricky on a single needle home embroidery machine as the cuff area (where a name is typically embroidered) can be a bit challenging to access. Fortunately they make Christmas stockings that zip completely open which can make your embroidery a heck-of-a-lot easier.

Hoodies

Zip up hoodies are one of my favorite kid gifts to machine embroider. I have made a ton of them – personalizing them with a kid’s name as well as a design that reflects their one of their interests or passions. It always makes me smile when I see one of my embroidered hoodies running around on the playground.

Straw hat

A straw hat is an essential summer accessory and it’s the perfect canvas for machine embroidery. I like to add a simple design or monogram to the brim of my straw hats. It’s a quick and easy way to add some personality to an otherwise plain hat.

With their big flat brims, a straw hat is not difficult to float onto a piece of stabilizer and embroider. Check out how I embroidered on straw hats.

You can actually make your own summer sun hat. This visor-style sun hat is super versatile and you can embroider on it prior to stitching it all together.

monogrammed purse
Photo provided by Allison Hickenbotham Lee of My Ticklez and used with her permission.

Purses

Ok – not every purse is going to be easy to embroider, but if you choose the right style of purse, you can easily stitch out a name or a monogram on the front.

A few years back, I bought a purse from Marshalls made from a sporty nylon fabric. It was an ideal style and fabric for adding a monogram.

When a friend from out of town showed up with the exact same purse, I couldn’t help but to offer to monogram hers just like mine. She readily agreed and a few minutes later, she had a monogrammed purse just like mine.

Purses made from tougher material like leather present a bigger challenge to embroider. But they are still able to be embroidered if you have an industrial strength machine.

gift with embroidered ribbon
Photo provided by Ellie Yuska of Gracefully Stitched and used with her permission.

Ribbons

Embroidering on ribbon is actually not too difficult and there are many uses for them. You can use embroidered ribbons to embellish clothing, make hair accessories, or even to create unique gift wrap.

One common technique I’ve seen is is to stitch out a design on some grosgrain ribbon and then use it as trim on a child’s sundress or shirt. It’s an easy way to add some personality to a garment without going overboard.

Men’s boxers

If you are looking for a fun Valentine’s or anniversary gift, why not stitch out a little love note on your man’s boxers? Plain boxers are cheap! And the leg opening is wide enough to make them easy to hoop or float. If you are new to machine embroidery, I would suggest embroidering on the woven style of mens’ boxers and not the boxer brief style – just because the fabric will not stretch.

Belt

completed embroidered belt

A belt is a great way to add a little personality to your outfit. And it’s actually not too difficult to embroider on a belt. I like to add simple designs or monograms to the end of my belts.

You can purchase simple D-ring canvas belts for both men and women very inexpensively that are ideal for embroidery. They make a great embroidered gift for man.

Or you can actually make the belt yourself. Check out how I stitched out a repeat pattern on a belt to make a one-of-a-kind accessory.

Just make sure you embroider on the right side of the belt. Typically people feed belts through their pants using their right hands and feeding it to the left. Make sure the design or monogram is right-side up when it’s put on in the manner.

Sashes

An embroidered sash is definitely a necessity if you are competing in a be you plan to – perfect for things like graduation or bridal parties.

I have also seen sashes used as part of a creative baby shower gift. You can personalize a sash with the name and birthdate of the new arrival.

One word of caution though – make sure you use a stabilizer when embroidering on a sash. The fabric is typically very lightweight and will pucker if you don’t.

Windbreakers

A lightweight windbreaker is perfect for those chilly spring days. Or if you live in a warmer climate, they make great rain jackets.

Adding a simple design or monogram to the chest of a windbreaker is an easy way to dress it up and make it more personal.

The challenge associated with embroidering on windbreakers is that the material can be quite slippery. You can either hoop or float your windbreaker. Just be careful if you decide to pin the windbreaker to the stabilizer – the pins can leave holes!

T-shirts

T-shirts are probably one of the most popular things to machine embroider. You can embroider them with just about anything – a design, a monogram, or even a name.

I have embroidered tons of silly appliqué and embroidery designs for party favors and birthday gifts. A current trend is to an embroidery a name on a curve around the collar. So cute.

T-shirts can be a little tricky to embroidery because they stretch! Just use a fusible poly mesh permanent stabilizer and float them instead of hooping.

Dog bed

I thought I was the only person in the world who had thought about embroidering my dog’s bed. Then I visited my friend’s house and saw that she had embroidered her dogs’ bed with their names. Dang. Beat me to it.

In order to embroider a dog’s bed, you will have to remove the outer fabric and embroider that and then reassemble the dog bed. Of you can purchase or make a dog bed cover and embroider that.

Never thought about embroidering for your dog. There are tons of great things to machine embroider for your pup!

Socks

Socks are quick little thing to machine embroider. I mean, how luxurious! Plus, monogrammed socks are a lot easier to match and sort into the correct pile.

Embroidering on socks can also help with identification. A woman in on of my Facebook groups embroiders her mother’s initials on all of her special diabetic socks so that they make it back to her mother after they are washed by the laundry service in her nursing home.

One thing you will want to keep in mind when embroidering socks is that they stretch! So make sure you use a fusible poly mesh stabilizer on the inside and float them.

Boot cuffs

Boot cuffs are a fun way to jazz up your boots. And they are fairly easy thing to machine embroider. Never heard of a boot cuff? It’s simply a little band of fabric that goes over the top of your boot. It makes it look like you are wearing socks with your boots – without all the bulk.

Since they are a bit narrow and stretchy – they are a little bit challenging to embroider. Just fuse a bit of fusible poly mesh underneath the embroidery area and then float them on some hooped sticky back stabilizer and push the excess fabric out of the way.

Drawstring backpacks

One year my sister embroidered drawstring backpacks with kids’ names and gave them out as birthday party favors. I thought this was a really clever idea because a) they are really cheap b) they are useful and c) you can throw a bunch of other things in the backpack to ensure no one leaves anything at your house post party.

I have put this project in the intermediate category because the embroidery area can be slightly tricky to access. Also, the fabric can be a bit slick so you may want to pin them in place if you float them on a piece of sticky back stabilizer.

Mens dress shirt pockets

A simple embroidered design or monogram on the pocket of a man’s dress shirt can really elevate his look. This project is a bit of mixed bag. If you stitch the monogram at the top of the pocket , it will be fairly easy to access. However, if you want to stitch it in the center of the pocket – things can get tricky.

The best way to embroider a design on a dress shirt pocket is to remove the pocket and then reattach it after you have embroidered your design. If you don’t want to remove the pocket, you can push the pocket inside out and get the just the top part to stick on a piece of stabilizer.

If you just stitch out a monogram with small letters the project goes quickly and your stress associated with keeping the excess fabric out of the way won’t be for long.

Shirt cuffs

Another area on a man’s dress shirt you can embroider to add a bit of personalization is the cuff of a dress shirt.

This project is a bit more advanced because the placement can be a bit tricky. But, like stitching on a pocket, the project is a quick one and it really makes a plain dress shirt look a lot fancier!

Insulated picnic bag

Machine embroidery can also be used to make some really nice and functional things like this insulated picnic basket. Have you seen these things? They are kind of rectangular shaped bags with metal handles. They are quite roomy and are ideal for transporting food and drink to an event while keeping it cold.

Since the top of these types of bags zip off almost all the way – you can maneuver it pretty well to get it to stick on some hooped sticky back stabilizer. I like to embroider these for gifts for friends and neighbors – filling them with our favorite beers.

Scrub tops

If you are in the medical field or know someone who is – a scrub top with an embroidered name (or design) is a really nice gift. My husband wears scrubs to work and actually ordered some online with his name stitched on it. I had to ask – “you do know that I can do that for you, right?”

Anyway – scrub material is an easy thing to machine embroider on. The only tricky part is getting the placement centered above the pocket and finding an embroidery font that stitches out nicely when it is very small.

Lab coats

Another item for the medical field – a lab coat with an embroidered name or design. This one is fairly easy to do as well. The only things to keep in mind are that you want your design to be small enough so it doesn’t overwhelm the coat and you want it placed where it won’t get covered by a stethoscope.

Knit headbands

There are two way to go about creating an embroidered knit headband. You can purchase the headbands pre-made, or you can create the headband from scratch and embroider it before you sew it all together.

Pre-made knit headbands are cheap and readily available. The only downside to embroidering on a pre-made one is that you will see the back of the embroidery design on the inside of the headband.

If you make it yourself, you can stitch out the name and the design before you assemble the headband and the back will not be visible at all.

To make these headbands, I would suggest using two-way stretch fabric, especially one that bounces back nicely after being stretched.

Pencil bags

A great back-to-school gift for a teacher (or student) is a personalized pencil bag. These are quick and easy to make. You can find all sorts of things to embroider on the front – from simple designs to complex appliqué.

You can purchase pencil pouches pre-made and just add the embroidered name and/or design or you can make them yourself. If you do, I would recommend using a canvas or denim fabric for this project as it will hold up well to being used on a daily basis. If you have a large enough embroidery hoop, you can even make your pencil bag entirely in-the-hoop.

Yoga bag

An embroidered yoga bag is another great thing to machine embroider for any yogi in your life. I’ve made yoga bags from scratch, but with so many cute styles available inexpensively online, I’ve wondered why I spent so much time doing so.

The only thing challenging about embroidering on a yoga bag is – once again – access. Yoga bags are long and skinny so you may be challenged accessing your embroidery area. So – there’s one argument for making the yoga bag from scratch – it will be much easier to embroider.

embroidered beanie
Photo provided by Ellie Yuska of Gracefully Stitched and used with her permission.

Beanies

Stitching a design on a beanie is a great way to add some personality to an otherwise plain item. One of my favorite (and very inexpensive gifts) is to embroider the recipients initials on a simple black knit beanie in nautical flag letters.

Beanies are stretchy so it’s important to stabilize them properly.My preference is to iron on a fusible poly mesh behind the embroidery area. Then I float the beanie on some adhesive-backed teary. Without proper stabilization, the fabric will stretch and the design will distort.

Sweater

There are a couple of different ways you can embroider on a sweater. You can embroider a pretty monogram – for example, over the left breast on a cardigan. Or you can do some crazy all-over design.

I saw this adorable sweater in a catalog with bees embroidered all over it in soft of a random pattern, and I decided to steal that look. I did take me quite a while to stitch out all the bees. And once I finished, my daughter promptly stole the sweater. I guess I’ll take that as a compliment.

Gloves

The first time I tried to monogram a pair of gloves, I stitched the gloves together. That’s when I discovered that gloves were not the easiest thing to embroider. Since then, I’ve successfully embroidered gloves, but I stick to a simple monogram in the outside corner at the wrist.

embroidered pajamas
Photo provided by Allison Hickenbotham Lee of My Ticklez and used with her permission.

Pajamas

Personalized coordinating pajamas are HUGE around the holidays. In fact, many of the blanks suppliers stock up on red and green pajamas around the holidays – just for this purpose. You can find all sorts of seasonally appropriate designs to embroider on the front. Or if the style of pajamas is quite busy, you may just consider embroidering a name.

You can purchase some very cute pajamas for kids that are suitable for embroidery any time of the year. You can also treat a grown up to the luxurious gift of monogrammed silk pajamas.

Photo albums

No, you are not going to stitch through the entire front cover of a photo album to create a personalized photo album! Instead, you embroider on some fabric which you then use to cover the photo album.

It’s a fairly simple process and the embroidery is easy since you are working with a flat piece of fabric of your choosing. The only challenge is smoothly glueing it over an existing photo album.

Bean bag chairs

My daughter spends a good portion of her waking hours in her bean bag chair. So, it’s no surprise that the cover is looking a bit worn. Fortunately you can buy new bean bag chair covers and you can even embroider on them!

Stitch out a kids name on a bean bag chair cover and then cover and old (or new) bean bag chair to freshen up their bedroom decor. It’s a great personalized gift for a teen or tween girl.

Dog coat

If you like your dog to be stylish while also providing an extra layer of warmth, consider embroidering your dog’s monogram on the back of a quilted dog coat. My friend, Ellie, actually made her dog coats out of a Burberry plaid fabric. Talk about fancy. Fortunately – you can buy inexpensive dog coats that are pretty easy to monogram. The only challenge? Figuring out your dog’s middle name.

Puffy coats and vests

I can see how embroidering on a puffy coat or vest might be a bit scary. Can you really embroider through all those layers of fluff? It’s actually quite a bit easier than what I expected. These days you can buy really cute puffy coats and vest for under twenty dollars.

Thanks to me and my embroidery machine, my mother wears a monogrammed puffy vest just about every day. Consider making one yourself the next time you are racking your brain for a gift for your mother.

Ties

Liven up a plain tie with an elegant single initial or monogram. Since ties are so small, the embroidery will be as well. So, it’s a quick gift to stitch.

The only challenge I find in embroidering on a tie is placement. You want to make sure that you are centering the design on the tie. If it’s a bit off, it will be very noticeable.

A tie is also something you can make yourself. Check out my post where I show you how to make a bow tie – and monogram it!

Robe

An embroidered robe is a great gift for just about anyone. You can make a coordinating set for a couple as a wedding or engagement gift. Even a kid will appreciate a personalized robe. At least my tween son does. He walks around the house like a king in his monogrammed robe.

Robes are a bit challenging to embroider just due to the placement factor. They can also be a bit bulky and challenging to maneuver around your embroidery machine.

Technology pack

A monogrammed technology pack is one of my favorite things to machine embroider and my go-to gift for just about anyone. Never heard of them? Essentially they are a zippered bag with a bunch of pouches and elastics designed to hold all your various charging cables, USB sticks, adaptors, plugs, etc…

You can easily monogram these handy doodads – just be sure to avoid monogramming through the pouches and limiting the capacity of the holder.

Covered buttons

Fabric covered buttons an easy thing to embroider, and you can use them in many different ways. All you have to do is stitch out a very small design, initial or monogram on a small, round piece of fabric. Then you just use the little assembly that comes with the package to secure the fabric around the button.

Of course, you can apply the embroidered covered button to any item of clothing. My preference, however, is to use them as personalized ponytail toppers which I think make a darling present topper for a little girl.

Sweatpants

These days sweatpants are a tween and teen wardrobe staple. So, embroidering a pair with a cute monogram or design is sure to be a hit.

One of my go-to embroidery projects for my teen girls and their friends are a three-letter circle monogram in a cute fabric that matches the sweats over the left hip.

Athletic skorts

Another fun and sporty thing to machine embroider is an athletic skort. In years past, Sam’s Club has sold them for around $12 so I scooped a few up to embroider for my girls.

I think an appliqué monogram looks great on the bottom left corner of one of these little numbers. I’ve also seen sorority letters stitched out on these as well.

Jeans

If you are tired of your basic blues, consider adding some embroidery to your blue jeans. Jeans fabric is an ideal fabric for embroidery as it’s strong and doesn’t stretch much. The challenge, however, in embroidery on a pair of jeans is that you will likely need to take apart the jeans on the inside seam to be able to lay the leg flat on the the hoop for embroidery.

Another fun spot to embroider on jeans is the back pocket. Unless you want to stitch your pocket closed, you will need to remove the pocket, do the embroidery and then reattach it.

Jeans Jacket

And speaking of denim, an embroidered denim jeans jacket is another ideal garment to embroider. A lot of people stitch out a large scale design on the back of a jeans jacket. But I’ve also seen jeans jackets with embroidered details on the back shoulders as well as on the front.

Chair cushion

If you are comfortable with a screw driver and a staple gun, then you can completely transform the look of a chair using your embroidery machine. All you have to do is pop out the seat cushion and recover it with a piece of fabric embroidered with a design, monogram or single initial.

I absolutely love how my “piano teacher chair” turned out. I bought a worn out dining chair from a thrift store. First, I painted it. Then I recovered the seat cushion with a piece of fabric embroidered with a single “G” within a roman wreath. Talk about a successful makeover.

stuffed animal with embroidered ear
Photo provided by Ellie Yuska of Gracefully Stitched and used with her permission.

Stuffed animals

A stuffed animal embroidered with a baby’s name and date of birth makes a darling keepsake for any newborn. Around Easter, embroidered bunnies are all the rage, with people embroidering kids’ names on the floppy ears.

Wherever you decide to embroider on your stuffed animal, the end result will be much better if you take the creature apart just a bit so you can embroider on the outer fabric and then stitch it back together.

duffel bag with embroidered name

Duffel bag

Perhaps a duffel bag doesn’t seem like it should be that hard to embroider. But, the bulk of all the fabric may require you to support the weight of the bag as you are stitching out the monogram.

I remember one particular duffel bag I was trying to monogram… I ripped it out and redid it 3 times. I’m not sure what. my problem was there . Under normal circumstances, a duffel bag is a fairly simple thing to machine embroider.

One solution to make the embroidery much easier is to make the duffel bag yourself.

Dopp kit

A personalized dopp kit is a great gift for a man, woman or even a kid. But, they can be a bit of a challenge getting them onto your embroidery hoop.

When shopping for a dopp kit to personalize, look for on where the front flap opens up all the way which will make it much easier to embroider.

Coffee cuff

A personalized fabric coffee cuff makes a great gift for any coffee lover. It’s also a more sustainable alternative to the disposable variety. Look for ones that have elastic or velcro closures, as they will be easier to get onto your embroidery hoop.

You can also make fabric coffee cuffs entirely in-the-hoop which may make it even easier to add a monogram while you are assembling the project.

Casserole carriers

A casserole carrier makes it SO MUCH EASIER to transport a warm meal across town. Monogram one of these casserole carries for someone who likes to cook for others.

Log carriers

Have you ever carried logs to your fire and ended up with bark stuck all over your sweater? Well – you can avoid this problem by using a log carrier!

A monogrammed log carrier makes a great wedding/engagement gift – just embroider the couple’s monogram on one side.

Glasses case

A simple sleeve style glasses case would be nearly impossible to embroider without completely opening up the case which is why in-the-hoop glasses cases are a popular project to make.

But if you want a quicker way of making a monogrammed glasses case, consider embroidering on a soft, zippered case that you can open up completely and float right on your hoop and embroider.

Things to machine embroider (a bit more advanced)

Umbrella

A personalized umbrella makes a stylish addition to your rainy day gear or as a unique gift for that special someone in your life. Know anyone with a spring birthday?

The main downside of this project is that it’s a bit challenging to get good access to a spot on the umbrella where you can add the embroidery.

Before I tried embroidering on an umbrella, myself, I was concerned that the needle holes from the embroidery would cause the umbrella to leak. So – I did a leak test – and was pleasantly surprised with the results – no leak!

Onesies

If you are sewing for a baby, an embroidered onesie is a must. There are some pretty hilarious designs that are suitable for a baby onesie – from the snarky to the sweet.

I like to make a whole set of onesies in different sizes using an appliqué design that celebrate the baby’s age (in months).

The tricky aspect about embroidering on onesies is that they are small which makes the embroidered area hard to access. Also, the fabric is stretchy so they are prone to puckering. I always float my onesies on and use some clever hacks to keep the excess fabric out of the say.

Don’t forget that when to fuse Cloud Cover on the inside to prevent the back side of from rubbing on delicate baby skin.

Baby night gowns

A popular thing to machine embroider on a baby nightgown is a baby’s name in appliqué letters that are stitched out vertically from the bottom of the sleep sack to the top.

You can see how this project can be a bit challenging. You are working with baby clothing (tiny and stretchy) and the multiple appliqué letters require repositioning the garment on the hoop to stitch out each one. But dang! They look really cute when they are done.

Sneakers

I actually surprised myself when I was able to stitch out a monogram on my sneakers using my little single needle embroidery machine. I had seen people do it using a multi needle, but until I did it myself, I did not know if I could pull it off using my little single needle machine.

Turns out, I could! I just floated the tongue on some sticky back stabilizer and stitched out the monogram.

Ladies swimsuit

Embroidering on a swimsuit was a project that had initiated me until I tried it myself. The fabric is just so… stretchy!

I was able to add embroider to a swimsuit by fusing fusible mesh stabilizer on the inside and putting a water-soluble topper on top. It’s not the easiest thing I’ve ever done, but it can be done.

Just avoid large and dense embroidery designs over areas of the suit that are prone to a lot of stretching as the stitches could easily pop.

Wine tote

Never heard of this? A wine tote is a small bag with sectioned off areas for bottles of wine. The bottles are all nestled in securely protecting them from breakage and making them a lot easier to carry.

Pre-made wine totes can be a bit challenging to embroider because the area you would probably want to embroider is difficult to access. But, you can solve this problem by making them yourself.

monogrammed baseball cap
Photo provided by J’Ann McCullough ( of CMS Galore Facebook Group) and used with her permission

Baseball cap

An embroidered baseball cap makes a great gift for almost anyone. There are just so many cute designs and phrases you can stitch on them.

Embroidering on a baseball cap is a cinch if you have a multi-needle embroidery machine with a cap attachment. But if you are working just with a single needle, a baseball cap can be one of the most difficult items to embroider. First of all, caps are curved. Then you have a rigid brim and a flap on the inside you need to move out of the way. It’s definitely doable but probably not for a beginner.

You may get inspired after reading about these 10 fun things to embroider on a baseball cap.

Fold up outdoor chairs

Embroidering on a fold up outdoor chair might be the most challenging item I’ve ever embroidered. I was sweating bullets as I supported the chair while the back of it was being embroidered. But, it actually turned out fairly well. The only downside of stitching through the back of one of these chairs is that the back of the embroidery is visible.

Some people actually remove the back piece of the chair and open it up to embroider it so that they can hide the back of the stitching. Considering the amount of stress this project caused me, it’s probably the way to go.

Suitcase

When my kids were little, my mom ordered them all their own suitcases with their names stitched out on the front. They were adorable. Once I saw them, it dawned on me that embroidering on a suitcase was something I could do myself.

Like embroidering on a lawn chair, you will need to provide some support to the suitcase while the name is being stitched out.

embroidered slippers
Photo provided by Alexis Galloway of Sew Sweet Academy and used with her permission

Slippers

Not every pair of slippers is going to be easy to embroider. But, if you can find the type that are soft and/or adjustable, you can usually get them on your embroidery hoop and stitch out a design or monogram. Look for slippers that completely open up for easiest access.

You may consider making the slippers yourself so that you can embroider them prior to stitching them together. Green Green Pepper has so me cute slipper patterns.

personalized baseballs
Photo provided by Shelly Dason of The Gray Wren Sewing and Crafts and used with her permission.

Baseball

A popular project I’ve seen is to create personalized, embroidered baseballs. Oftentimes people embroider a name and a key date (perhaps the date of a memorable game) on the baseball to serve as a keepsake.

In order to embroider on a baseball, you need to completely disassemble the baseball. Then, you embroider the details on the ball, and then finally stitch it all back together.

Handkerchiefs

If you have a man in your life who likes to carry a handkerchief in his pocket, why not make him some personalized ones? It’s fairly quick and easy to stitch out the three letters of his monogram.

Embroidering on handkerchiefs is only tricky when the fabric is very thin or when you decide to stitch out a message on the delicate piece of fabric. Never seen this? It’s a popular gift for a bride to give to the important people in her life on her wedding day. In order to make these embroidered messages legible, you need to choose an embroidery font that is available in a very small size.

Lamp shade

It may be nearly impossible to embroider on a pre-made lamp shade. But, did you know that you can make a lamp shade yourself using a lamp shade kit? You simply glue your fabric onto a rigid shade material. The cool thing is that you can embroider on your fabric before turning it into a shade.

Consider embroidering a repeated pattern around your shade or a nod to nature with some birds in flight or feathers and leaves.

Visors

Again, this is not one of my favorite things to embroider as it is very tricky flattening out a visor to float it on an embroidery hoop. But, when your friend gets hooked on tennis and requests some monogrammed visors, you have to give it a try!

Wall art

If you are not the artistic type, you may quickly dismiss the idea of embroidering something that is frame worthy. But there are several designs you can machine embroider that would be worthy of framing.

For example, a baby’s birth announcement, a Mr. & Mrs established in design, a family tree, etc… Just stitch out your design on a durable fabric, flatten and pop it in a frame.

Did you realize there were so many things to machine embroider?

So there you have it: 101 things to machine embroider! I’m actually surprised I was able to come up with this many ideas.

As you can now see, there are so many things to machine embroider – the possibilities are endless! We hope that this list has inspired you to try something new and get creative with your next project.

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101 things to machine embroider
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